“A shlameel is the guy that finishes his ‘dessert’ in fifteen seconds, a shlamazel is the guy that hides behind the booth and waits for his boss to finish. Louisville is both the Shlameel and the shlamazel of college sports.”
Way back in 2005 when I was deciding where to go to college, Kentucky was pretty much streets ahead of Louisville in every category except one – one of my best friends just finished his freshman year as a Card. I took a campus visit to Louisville and when I saw the campus I was stunned. Stunned that I escaped without being mugged, that is. It was then that I pulled a Teague, said ‘thanks but no thanks,’ and headed to Kentucky. I tell you this because it was that same friend that was the only Cardinal to ever talk trash to me about the Kentucky/Louisville rivalry.
It was the 2006 football game at Papa Johns Stadium. Michael Bush had just scored his third touchdown of the evening to take the score to 28-0 when I get a call from my friend Drew telling me “You better have a drink, cause it’s gonna be a loooooooong night.” Fair. I was drinking anyway, so it’s not like I was too upset about it. But at that point I hated Louisville. Kentucky football was all that mattered right then, and I wanted nothing more than to have a reason to call Drew back and throw his (admittedly terrible and not that scathing) trash talk back in his face. I got my chance in 2007, of course, but we aren’t there yet.
Louisville finished that season well enough – a BCS win against a terrible Wake Forrest team. Good, not great, but just enough to see their football program walk out the door when Bobby Petrino left for a 13 game vacation in the NFL. Louisville would go on to snap its four game winning streak against Kentucky the very next year, ushering in the Kragthorpe era in the way only Stevie Johnson could. Card fans had to watch (or simply chose not to as evidenced by the amount of open seats in their stadium) as their football program fell to shambles. They posted multiple mediocre win/loss records in the worst BCS conference, lost multiple times to Syracuse (reminder: in football,) and managed to get themselves ecstatic over a first time head coach that managed to lose to FIU. There were the five ‘core values,’ that basically amounted to ‘don’t break laws,’ they gleefully ignore one of their coaches involvement in the Miami fiasco and of course, they field a quarterback who could be confused on the street with me. Or that guy from ‘Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.’ Ladies and gentlemen – your 2006 Orange Bowl champs.
But that’s not all. If a down football program wasn’t enough to be sad about, the Louisville basketball program has literally become a joke. Since the fateful phone call from my friend Drew, Louisville fans have had to watch Rick Pitino’s name get dragged through the mud in a national atmosphere – mud he created and Tom Jurich refused to remove. They have had to endure losses to Morehead State (Anthony Davis says shut up,) arrests over hairbrushes and getting excited over three star recruits. Not only that, but they have seen their biggest rival steal their recruits, become a permanent fixture in the top 10 and dance on their grave in their home court – with their golden coach of old. As Matt often brings up – Louiusville is a top 7 program that’s acting like it’s in the mid 30’s. Sad, lonely, and embarrassing to have out to social gatherings.
The reason I hate Louisville – the only reason I really hate Louisville – is because it will forever be impossible to wish anything worse on them than they already do to themselves.
Simply put, Louisville is the Jerry Gergich (Parks and Rec) of college sports.
Replace the word ‘Jerry’ with ‘Louisville’ and you’ll see what I mean.
Everyone enjoys laughing at them, and they just can’t stop giving us reasons to do so. Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly do anything more humiliating than lose to an OVC team in the NCAA tournament, they lose to a Sun Belt team in the second game of the football season. Again – I love to laugh at them, but I just can’t take them seriously anymore, and because of that I can’t truly hate them.
Now Tennessee on the other hand – that’s a team I can hate.